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Caring for the Whole Person

Finding Peace and Support During Serious Illness
​A Collaborative Project of the California Catholic Bishops and California Catholic Health Systems.

Caring for the Whole Person Initiative is a collaborative project of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, guided by a Leadership Council comprising representatives from the two organizations, including Bishops, Catholic health care executives, and other leaders.  The initiative is aimed at creating an environment in our parishes, communities, and health care systems in which all persons are loved, wanted, and worthy and will be prepared and supported in health and serious illness through the end of life.  We are implementing our “Respect and Care” End of Life Program which provides theological and practical support for End of Life issues.  This includes discussion about the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and expanding our Bereavement ministries to include “End of Life” care.  This Initiative will provide a synchronized strategy to help us further develop a comprehensive program that will help enable caregivers in our parishes and health care facilities to attend to people and provide basic human needs. 




Persons in our congregations, communities, and hospitals are loved, wanted and worthy, and will be prepared and supported in health and serious illness through the end of life.

1. Strengthen and improve the availability of whole person care and palliative care services in Catholic health care systems and their hospitals, and

2. Develop and implement Whole Person Care and palliative care programs in dioceses and parishes.

“As Church and Catholic health care leaders in California, we believe that physician-assisted suicide, while legal, is not yet an entrenched cultural or clinical reality. Recognizing this, we are committed to developing together, and in collaboration with other leaders in the palliative care field, a medical and pastoral approach to care through the end of life that provides a dignified, compassionate, and loving alternative to physician-assisted suicide for seriously ill people and their families. Our intent is to create a Church and Catholic health care collaborative model that serves our California parishioners and patients well, and that can be replicated by Church and Catholic health care leaders in other states.”

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